UN Commission Finds Crimes Against Humanity in Sudan; Urges International Court Action
A United Nations-appointed commission released a report earlier this week that found that the pattern of atrocities in the Sudan did not constitute acts of genocide committed by the government, but instead found the government guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The commission is urging the Security Council to refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), instead of an ad hoc tribunal like the United States is proposing. While the commission did not find evidence of an organized governmental act of genocide, it did state that it is up to a competent court to decide if there is evidence of government officials committing acts with “genocidal intent.”
The commission’s report documents atrocities committed primarily against Darfur’s black African tribes. The commission charged the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed (Arab militia) of committing murder, torture, kidnapping, rape, forced displacement and the destruction of villages, reports the Washington Post. More than 70,000 people have been killed due to the violence and more than 1.8 million have been driven from their homes.
The United Nations, European governments, human rights and women’s rights advocates want the case in Darfur to be brought before the ICC. The ICC identifies gender crimes as crimes against humanity. Ninety-four countries have fully ratified the treaty establishing the ICC. The United States is currently the only industrialized country that has not signed the treaty due to its fear that Americans could be tried before it.
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .